Energy efficiency and carbon footprint are topics that continue to come up as the issues of our carbon footprint on the world increases. This article will first discuss energy efficiency and what it means for our homes and office buildings.
What is Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency is a term used to describe the process of using less energy to complete the same task. Pretty much every region of the global market can benefit from improving our energy utilization, such as transportation, industry, technology, and even the process of energy generation. Below we will mainly be discussing energy efficiency relating to buildings, and more specifically, how your HVAC system plays a role in all of this.
How is Energy Measured?
Energy is typically measured in joules or watt-hours. One watt-hour is equivalent to 3600 joules. Energy efficiency is calculated by taking the amount of energy used and dividing it by the energy put into the system at the start of the process. For example, a typical household refrigerator is about 20-50% efficient.
What is Energy Consumption?
The yellow Energy Guide sticker shown here is what you can expect to see on every new, major appliance sold in the United States today. It informs the consumer about the cost of operating the appliance/product over a year and how much electricity they will use during that period. Since 1980, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has required all manufacturers to use these labels so that consumers know the expected consumption, efficiency, and overall costs to operate their appliances. This is just one example of the energy initiatives developed to inform the public better and increase national energy standards.
What is the Benefit of Being Energy Efficient?
Improving energy efficiency helps to reduce the amount of energy wasted while home appliances and utilities are running. It also reduces the average carbon footprint of a building and the need to import energy-related resources from other countries. This, in turn, lowers the cost of maintaining and living/working in a building while helping the economy at the same time.
How Does Energy Efficiency Reduce Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint can be reduced in a couple of ways. One could choose to fly less and only use energy-efficient cars or transportation, for example. The energy efficiency of buildings also plays a significant role in reducing carbon footprint. We release less carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gas molecules into the atmosphere through domestic emissions if we waste less energy. According to the New York Times, most of an individual’s carbon emissions relate to how they get around, live, and eat.
The U.S. Green Building Council estimates that buildings contribute to “…approximately 40% of the total energy used today….” Studies have shown that constructing more efficient buildings and using the land appropriately can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money. In addition, we can place less reliance on nonrenewable resources that may be hindered by volatile markets or global supply constraints. Many argue that oil, natural gas, and coal are unsustainable in the long run, as they are all capped by a finite supply. Today our nation uses natural resources at a much faster rate than they can naturally replenish. Better energy efficiency not only affects foreign policy and the bottom line, but it also helps out the environment!
How is My Carbon Footprint Measured?
If you would like to estimate your environmental impact, you can always check out the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator posted on their website. It takes into consideration three main categories: transportation, waste, and home energy. Each home is different regarding how large its carbon footprint is. In addition, other factors affect total emissions. These factors include where the building is located and what activities are going on in and around the area.
How Can I Increase My Energy Efficiency and Reduce My Carbon Footprint?
By minimizing your vehicle’s gas consumption, turning off lights when not in use, purchasing energy-efficient products using the Energy Guide system, and properly maintaining your HVAC System and filters, you can reduce carbon emissions. It is also essential to make sure buildings are properly insulated and maintained to make sure that they trap heat in the winter. Poor insulation leads to longer and more taxing run times for the furnace, decreasing energy efficiency and increasing pollution.
Do Air Filters Help Reduce Carbon Footprint?
Many environmental advocates draw attention to the pollution levels concerning the outside air. However, since people spend about 90% of their time indoors, it may also be important to discuss indoor pollution levels, which are often 2 to 5 times higher. Improving your home’s heating and cooling system not only cuts costs and reduces energy waste. It also greatly improves indoor air quality and the health of those inside.
What Type of Filter is the Most Efficient
One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your system is to make sure that you regularly change your HVAC filters. You should also make sure that your filters have a relatively high MERV rating so that they can filter out more harmful particles such as dust/debris, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses, and much more. High-quality filters also filter out harmful pollutants such as smog, vehicle emissions, and smoke that may enter your home or office from the surrounding area.
You should also contact your HVAC provider and schedule routine maintenance about once every year or two if you’re not familiar with your system to ensure that you have a proper seal on your vents and are free of dust and mold buildup. They also check the motor, sensors, and internal components to keep your system running smoothly. Ultimately this will increase the energy efficiency of the system.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope you found this article on energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint helpful! The team here at Filti is passionate about the environment, clean air, and our role in helping people stay healthy through improving air quality with high-quality air filters and filtration products. We design and manufacture filtration products using our patent-pending nanofiber technology, which helps keep you, your family, your staff, and tenants safe by filtering out harmful particles in the air. Our mission is to create quality air filtration products available to all consumers and frontline workers. For more information about Filti, our washable air filters, disposable filters, mask products, and our mission, visit our website at filti.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!